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The Effects of Two Bouts of High- and Low-Volume Resistance Exercise on Glucose Tolerance in Normoglycemic Women

Reed, Michael E; Ben-Ezra, Vic; Biggerstaff, Kyle D; Nichols, David L

Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research:
doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e318218dea3
Original Research

Reed, ME, Ben-Ezra, V, Biggerstaff, KD, and Nichols, DL. The effects of two bouts of high- and low-volume resistance exercise on glucose tolerance in normoglycemic women. J Strength Cond Res 26(1): 251–260, 2012—The purpose of the study was to determine the efficacy of a low-volume, moderate-intensity bout of resistance exercise (RE) on glucose, insulin, and C-peptide responses during an oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) in untrained women compared with a bout of high-volume RE of the same intensity. Ten women (age 30.1 ± 9.0 years) were assessed for body composition, maximal oxygen uptake, and 1-repetition maximum (1RM) before completing 3 treatments administered in random order: 1 set of 10 REs (RE1), 3 sets of 10 REs (RE3), and no exercise (C). Twenty-four hours after completing each treatment, an OGTT was performed after an overnight fast. Glucose area under the curve response to an OGTT was reduced after both RE1 (900 ± 113 mmol·L−1·min−1, p = 0.056) and RE3 (827.9 ± 116.3, p = 0.01) compared with C (960.8 ± 152.7 mmol·L−1·min−1). Additionally, fasting glucose was significantly reduced after RE3 (4.48 ± 0.45 vs. 4.90 ± 0.44 mmol·L1, p = 0.01). Insulin sensitivity (IS), as determined from the Cederholm IS index, was improved after RE1 (10.8%) and after RE3 (26.1%). The reductions in insulin and C-peptide areas after RE1 and RE3 were not significantly different from those in the C treatment. In conclusion, greater benefits in glucose regulation appear to occur after higher volumes of RE. However, observed reductions in glucose, insulin, C-peptide areas after RE1 suggest that individuals who may not well tolerate high-volume RE protocols may still benefit from low-volume RE at moderate intensity (65% 1RM).

Author Information

Exercise Physiology and Biochemistry Laboratory, The Department of Kinesiology, Texas Woman's University in Denton, Denton, Texas

Address correspondence to Michael Reed,

© 2012 National Strength and Conditioning Association